This was a poignant and subtle story. It gives a little bit of a different view of the Marauders when they were at school -- they were kind to Rosmerta, anyway.
I liked the device of their thoughts (italicized paragraphs) mirroring each other, I thought that worked really well, and the parallel conclusions were quite poignant.
I don't really have any suggestions for improvement, I think this story is lovely just the way it is. There are a couple of punctuation/space issues (ellipsis (...) generally has a space after it) but it could simply be a publishing hiccup. :)
She may not have much to show for herself, but she can boast this much: She knows loneliness when it walks into her pub. She feels it keenly, as if it's her own... and it is. It flares up now, sharply, within her chest, recognizing itself in another. She understands, and thinks perhaps this will be the day she is finally understood.
I always assumed Rosmerta to be an older character, but since there's no canon age for her, you are free to interpret, and I really like your version just the way you have it. I also loved the way you left the ending open, leaving the reader free to imagine what might have happened between them on those quiet nights during PoA.
Lovely job! I really enjoyed it.
Author's Response: Thank you for reviewing! I had never written Rosmerta before, and I got this idea of pairing her with Lupin, and the whole idea grew out from there. And even though Rosmerta is always this sparkling, happy person in the books, I wanted to take a different approach, exploring the idea of loneliness and unfulfilled hopes, and making her parallel to Lupin in that way.
Rosmerta's age was challenging at first, because we're not really given any solid indication in the books. I think at some point we're told that she's middle-aged when Harry's at school - I'm not sure though - but the fact that Ron had a bit of a crush on her led me to think she couldn't be all that old. But she was there at the Three Broomsticks when the Marauders were in school, so where does that leave us? I figured I would just play her slightly older than the Marauders, which would be reasonable in terms of what we know of her from canon, and would allow me to play out this little mutual crush thing going on between her and Remus.
And I left it open-ended for exactly that reason - I think sometimes the most satisfying ending is when the reader can imagine whatever suits their fancy, and my intent with this was really only to plant a seed in people's minds. Really, once I wrote this pairing, I got really hooked on it. All due respect to Tonks, I'm thinking I may have to write another Remus/Rosmerta in the future. ^_^
Thank you again! I really enjoyed your review.